Aviation

What happens if you miss your flight?

Air travel brings joy to millions of passengers every year for leisure, business trips and visiting friends and family. Most flights are on schedule and passengers reach their destination as expected. For an unlucky minority, sometimes things go wrong and passengers are late for their flights. We’ll see what happens when you’re late for your flight.

What if it’s my fault?

Missed flights can happen for a variety of reasons. Airport traffic jams, security delays, illness, late connecting flights, the weatherlosing track of time in duty free and endless other reasons. If you are late for your flight due to circumstances beyond your control, the airline is not obliged to rebook you on a later flight free of charge.

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Airlines have different policies on this. For example, in USA, the “flat tire” rule may apply. For airlines that apply this policy, if you miss your flight due to circumstances beyond your control and you arrive at the airport within two hours of your flight departure, the airline will rebook you on the next available flight at no additional charge.

If you know you will miss your flight, the first step is to contact the airline. If you know in advance, it’s worth checking if you can cancel with zero penalty. If you simply don’t show up, the airline will likely cancel your entire trip, including layovers and return flights. Contacting the airline early can resolve the situation as they can book you on the next available flight.


Some airlines will be able to reschedule your trip at the airport, others may require you to contact a call center. Many airlines will accept passengers in these circumstances if they can, but this is by no means guaranteed. They may transfer you to a later flight or put you on a waiting list.

The consequences of missing flights depend largely on who is to blame – the passenger, the airline or unforeseen circumstances. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple flight

What if it’s the airline’s fault?

Aviation is a complex industry with many organizations involved in getting airplanes into the sky. If an airline cancels a flight, you are often entitled to a refund. However, this is not always the case and the rules vary from country to country.

If you are connecting through an airport and the first leg of your flight is canceled or delayed, causing you to miss the next leg, your rights depend on how you booked your flights. If you have one ticket for the entire journey, the airline will book you on the next available flight and provide accommodation if necessary. If you have booked two separate tickets, the passenger will be responsible for rescheduling the new flights. Some airlines may accept passengers for free, but this is at their discretion.


Passenger rules and rights vary from area to area. U Europefor example, passengers may be protected under European Union Regulation EU261. It details the specific rules that passengers are entitled to, including reimbursement and compensation.

Rules and regulations for passengers who have not boarded a flight vary from country to country. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple flight

What if I’m already at the airport?

If you are already in the airport area and your flight departs without you, you must either wait at the airport for the rescheduled flight or you will have to leave the airport. Airport staff must escort you through the terminal and into the arrival hall. If your baggage has already been loaded onto the plane, the flight will not depart without it if your trip has been cancelled. He will be unloaded and you will be reunited with him.

Missing a flight may seem like the end of the world, but even if it’s the passenger’s fault, airlines can and will want to rebook alternative flights. If the airline is at fault, passengers can travel knowing there are procedures in place to reschedule, provide compensation, or both.

https://simpleflying.com/what-happens-if-you-miss-your-flight/ What happens if you miss your flight?

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